026/366: saying no to a good thing

January 26th, 2012 in Daily

So, I had to hand in my contract papers today, per protocol, a solid 6 months before the current contract year ends. The process is put into place to allow for time to appoint and prepare a replacement, who like yourself, will be coming from their country to live and work in Japan. A necessary evil maybe, but in large part due to the antiquated system of processing paperwork here. I imaging a solid 3 months could be shaved off that time if it got overhauled. Though, looking back on it, it did give the selected candidates a decent of time to think about and adjust to the fact that they would be leaving home for this new job.

Anyways, it’s hard to forecast how you will feel about many things six months into the future. What you think about your job, surroundings, and life in general changes a lot in that amount of time. Let alone the decision of whether or not you will be ready for that international move back home.

As much as I can say I enjoy living here, the beautiful scenery I see daily, the students I teach, the people I’ve met, the places I’ve traveled… this time around there is an undeniable gut feeling about re-contracting. I know, even though everything is good, if not great as is, I need this change. For one, I know I need to move along career wise. Just what or where that move will be? I honestly have no idea. I just know it needs to happen. Moreover, I have this feeling that, should I stay a 4th year in Japan, the bonds I have between friends and family will hit a tension or state of disintegration that I’m not sure either of us would be prepared to react to once I did make it home. The two times I’ve been back on vacation, I kind of felt like an alien abductee that just got dropped back off into the flow of things. Minus the probing. A gap of time where I was simply removed from the equation. As it stands now at 3 years, I’m already in for long adjustment period once I get back. I’ve gotta get myself reintegrated in all aspects. Part of this gut feeling is the unsaid sense of disappointment I’d hear from the people I care about if I said “I’m staying another year.”

So, I sat down with Miyuki this past weekend and signed the paper. She was strong about it and helped me remember my goals, despite the easy life of gainful employment waiting for me had I circled “yes”. And just like that, in full clarity, I was reminded of the fact that it sure as hell isn’t easy to say no to a good situation. Even the best situations aren’t always right for you, especially at a specific times in your life.

Two days later, I’m finding it gets easier to justify the choice when I can positively envision the new adventure lying ahead. Though, this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve felt this way. Sometimes I need a fire lit under me to break out of a state of complacency. Time to focus again. Time to be productive.

See ya in August.

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